Monday, January 2, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Gift

So, this year in our families, we drew names to buy Christmas gifts instead of trying to buy for everyone. I was thrilled when I drew my sister-in-law because we are fellow Pinterest addicts, so all I had to do was go to her boards for ideas. After debating about many of the different projects, I decided to go with this one.

I loved the signs, but as my fellow blogger stated, they cost almost $35 each to buy them! Insane! So, I am going to show you how I made them for under $2.00 for 4!!!

First, I started with a 1x4 from Home Depot. See the green paint? That means I got this out of the cull lumber bin. For those of you who don't know, Home Depot (and I assume most lumber yards) have boards that they can't sell full price for one reason or another. They put them in the cull lumber bin for sale at a deep discount. Home Depot sells all their cull lumber for 51 cents per piece.

I measured the piece and divided it into 5 equal pieces (in case I made a mistake on one).

They ended up about 12 inches long and a little under 4 inches wide. I then used 1oo grain sandpaper to round all the edges and smooth out the rough spots.

Then, with a little help, I painted them black.

After the 2 coats of black dried, I painted them off white (it took about 3 coats to cover as much as I wanted).

I bought this combo pack of sandpaper at Wal-Mart. I used the 100 grain to round the corners, then used the 220 grain after the white paint was dry. I gently rubbed off the white paint along the edges so the black showed through. It gave it a very weathered feel. However, if I were to do these over again, I would wait until the very end to sand off the top paint color. You will see why.

Then, I designed the words in Microsoft Publisher. When I printed them, I used my printer's "advanced" settings and printed them in mirror image. It's very important to note that it must be printed on a laser printer or be a photocopy. Inkjet will not work with this technique. You can print at a UPS Store or Kinkos for like 10 cents per sheet. I used plain 20 lb printer paper. Nothing fancy.

Now I was ready to use the instructions found here for acrylic paint transfer.

First, I painted another layer of the off white paint onto the board. Make sure to not make it too thick or it will bubble and look weird. This is why I wished I had waited to sand the corners, because I got a lot of this paint on the corners and had to re-sand many of the edges.

Then, IMMEDIATELY put down your image. If the paint dries before you put down the paper, this won't work.

Then take a spoon and rub the back of the paper. Make sure to rub all over the paper. Let it dry completely. I let mine dry for 2-4 hours. I know the video says it will only take 10 min, but I think on wood, it takes much longer. I did a test one and after drying for 1 hour, it was still too wet to work.

After it is completely dry, dip your fingers in some water and wet the back of the paper.

Then start to gently rub the paper off. Don't rub really hard, it's not necessary, but it takes some patience to keep rubbing until all the paper is gone.

You will be able to feel when all the paper has been removed.
Now you are left with a beautiful lettered sign that looks a little weathered.
I love this look so much more than vinyl in a lot of circumstances!

So, to recap. I spent:

Wood: $0.51
Paint: $1.00 a bottle (used less than half a bottle of each color)
Paper: FREE (if you photocopy or print at a print shop $0.10 each)

I didn't add hangers to the back because I didn't know where or how she wanted to hang them, but that would add about another $1.00.

I loved this technique and can't wait to try it on other projects!

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